Retail and Direct To Consumer

Trigo Raises $100M To Offer Cashless Checkout

Illustration of cultured-food app icons. Egg, sushi(?) and meat.

Trigo, a cashless checkout startup for retailers, announced on Wednesday it raised $100 million in equity financing to deploy its technology in retailers across the U.S. and Europe. It also plans to expand into new areas. 

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Temasek Holdings and 83North led the investment, joining previous investors including Red Dot Capital Partners, retail group REWE Group and Vertex Ventures. The company has raised $199 million, according to Crunchbase data. 

Trigo is one of several startups in the retail space taking on Amazon in the “cashless checkout” experience. The company uses computer vision and artificial intelligence to survey and determine human interactions with the merchandise. A person picking up three different things from a store can walk out and get automatically charged for those items instead of having to wait in a checkout line. 

The company also uses its platform to help retailers manage back-of-the-house inventory and keep track of items that may have expired. This helps grocery stores make better purchasing decisions and ease supply chain bottlenecks.

A new kind of grocery

Grocery stores often operate on razor-thin margins, leading to widespread adoption of new technologies like self-checkout to minimize operating costs. 

Several startups have entered the space to tackle cashless checkout. California-based Grabango launched in Pittsburgh in 2020. Also based in California is Standard Cognition, another autonomous retail solution. 

In theory, cashless checkout provides another layer in theft protection. In a world where delivery is becoming more widespread, not having to stand in line seems appealing to customers. 

But due to clunky, unreliable technology and large operating costs, grocery stores have been hesitant to adopt this sort of cost-heavy technology. When Amazon unveiled its grab-and-go store in 2016, the company waxed poetic on the thousands of stores they envisioned across the country. So far, there are only 28.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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